Pro Life or Pro Choice? The oldest dilemma

If the abortion debate is framed in terms of pro-choice or pro-life, then it should be no surprise that people generally tend to go with “pro-choice” because that is what we have been doing throughout history. This is the oldest decision.

In Genesis 2, God provides two trees at the centre of the Garden of Eden, one is the Tree of Life, eating from it provides a daily testimony to the life which Adam and Eve have from God. They were made to live for ever. The other tree is the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, eating from it was a declaration that humans would make their own choices about right and wrong. Eating from it was a claim to autonomy -that they did not need God’s revelation to know how to act. The first Tree was literally pro-life and the second pro-choice. Adam and Eve ate from the second tree because they wanted to be like God, to have the power and independence he had.

The sad thing about that decision in the Garden of Eden was that humanity already were made in the image of God and already shared a precious quality with him, the quality of life, living for ever. The other sad thing about that decision is that in not choosing life, they were choosing death. God warned them that when they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they would die..

Adam and Eve opted for pro-choice and in doing so chose death. So, it is no surprise that today, people are doing the same. When people favour abortion, they believe that they are opting for pro-choice but once again, they are choosing death.  They choose death for many hundreds of thousands of unborn babies. When we move further down the slippery slope towards legalising euthanasia we also believe that we are pro-choice but once again we are choosing death as ill and elderly people are pressured to conform to a society’s belief that they have nothing worth living for.

But it is not just the unborn and the terminally ill who are handed over to death. I want to suggest that we choose death for ourselves too. A society which sees itself as God and able to decide between life and death, a society that no longer cares about its most vulnerable is a dead society it has lost its values and meaning. We as individuals choose death, once again we are saying that we want to be in control, we reject God. We have chosen death again.

This reminds us that whilst campaigning publicly against bad laws is a good and important thing to do, most of all we need the Gospel. In Gethsemane, Jesus said “Not my will but yours.” He was willing to be conformed to His father’s will, he relinquished the right to choose in favour of obedience. Jesus gave up his life willingly. Jesus chose death so that we can live. His death ushered in resurrection life.

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